Tech Tournament to showcase Penn State's most disruptive innovations

April 06, 2021

Eight of Penn State’s most disruptive and promising early-stage technologies will compete for $150,000 in the Invent Penn State Tech Tournament, a signature event of the Invent Penn State Venture & IP Conference, at 2:45 p.m. on April 15. The companies and technologies showcased include therapeutics for COVID-19, printable concrete, and a lab-on-a-chip drug-screening platform.

Registration for the Invent Penn State Venture & IP Conference is currently open to the public.

“The Tech Tournament is an incredible opportunity for Penn State faculty, researchers and graduate students who are looking to advance their innovations into the marketplace to solve real-world problems,” said Jim Pietropaolo, associate director of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Commercialization. “We’ve had numerous exceptional participants, such as 2019 Tech Tournament winner Nanoporous Antireflection Coatings. The event features many of our best and brightest Penn State innovators and provides opportunities for leadership and commercialization partnership.”

Tech Tournament prizes consist of $75,000 for first place, $50,000 for second place and $25,000 for third place. The following teams will compete at this year’s Tech Tournament:

  • Bio-Based Extraction of Rare Earth Elements (Eberly College of Science) – Has developed a protein-based method for extracting rare earths (REs), a group of 17 metals labeled as “critical materials” by the U.S. Department of Energy for their technological importance yet lack of a sustainable domestic supply.
  • Cranial Devices, Inc. (College of Medicine) – Is an advanced surgical shunt system designed to eliminate the historical failure points of existing shunts.
  • ElkosRx (College of Medicine) – Has developed an investigational treatment for diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) that targets the pathophysiology of DFUs.
  • GradienT° (Eberly College of Science) – Has developed a screening platform for pharmaceutical scientists to select soluble therapeutic protein formulations for clinical development.
  • HydroSapient (The Huck Institutes of Life Sciences, College of Engineering) – Has the mission of accelerating the world’s accessibility to reliable water resources predictions to enable sustainable development.
  • Respana Therapeutics, Inc. (College of Medicine, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center) – Develops and commercializes a novel monoclonal antibody (mAb) for the treatment of complications of influenza and other infections of the lung, including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and related inflammatory conditions.
  • Vitamin K Fermentation (College of Agricultural Sciences) – Significantly improving large-scale production methods for bio-derived menaquinone-7.
  • xForm Technologies (College of Arts and Architecture, College of Engineering) – Intends on creating autonomous construction solutions for the construction industry starting with precast concrete manufacturers as well as universities for research and education.

For more information on the Tech Tournament and the 2021 Invent Penn State Venture & IP Conference, visit pennstatevip.com and follow Invent Penn State on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram at @InventPennState.

Last Updated April 06, 2021